Dodgers vs Cardinals Pre-Game: Win Streak Dependent on Kershaw

The Dodgers will go for their sixth straight win today in St Louis and try to keep a perfect record during this 10-game road trip, by improving to 5-0. Last night the Dodgers beat the Cardinals 5-3 in the first game of this four-game series. It was the offense that showed up again to keep the Dodgers rolling, while the Giants still hold 1.5 game lead in the division race.

Today’s pitching match-up will be watched by many around the baseball world, as Clayton Kershaw goes up against Adam Wainwright. If you want to see two of the best curve balls in baseball and enjoy a great pitcher’s duel, then this is a must-watch for you. However, opposing hitters probably feel the complete opposite because no one likes getting fooled by the old Uncle Charlie.

Wainwright, the big lengthy right-hander for the Cardinals isn’t having an ideal year that people would usually expect from him. He missed all of the 2011 World Championship season due to reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. This season he has shown flashes of dominance from the past, but the numbers say 7-10 record with a 4.42 ERA.

One of those flashes of dominance came in his last start against the Brewers on July 18th, where Wainwright went 7.0 innings, allowing five hits, one run, with nine strikeouts, only to end up with the loss. The stuff is clearly still there on occasion, especially the curve ball that defines what the 12-6 curve is all about. Wainwright will try to put an end to the Dodgers winning streak, he has a 3-3 record with a 3.10 ERA overall against them.

The Dodgers will have the 2011 Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on the mound in this one. So far this season Kershaw has a 7-5 record with a 2.74 ERA, which has already tied the total amount of losses that he had all of last year. It seems like he has made a lot more mistakes with pitches in games this season than he did last year, but the ERA says otherwise.

In his last start on July 18th against the Phillies, it was a pitcher’s duel between him and Cliff Lee. He went 8.0 innings, allowing five hits, one run, with seven strikeouts. It ended up being a no decision for Kershaw with the Dodgers winning the game in extra innings and that’s when the winning streak began. So the Dodgers ace will try to keep the streak alive for another day and win the battle for the filthiest 12-6 curve in baseball.

Los Angeles Dodgers (53-44) at St. Louis Cardinals (50-46)
Clayton Kershaw (7-5, 2.74) vs. Adam Wainwright (7-10, 4.42)
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
5:15 p.m. PST, July 24, 2012
TV: KCAL, MLB Network
Radio: 570 AM (English), 1020 AM (Spanish)
Game-Time Weather: 99 degrees, Mostly Cloudy

For more on the Cardinals, check out our pre-series article.

Key to a Dodger Victory:
Keep on rolling: The Dodgers offense has managed to score five or more runs in every game during this five game winning streak. They must stay hot in order to keep this streak alive against the Cardinals Adam Wainwright. A couple of Dodgers have actually gone deep off of him, which include Andre Ethier, Jerry Hairston Jr., and wait for it… James Loney! We could be in for a Loney home run sighting! I might be a little too excited, but forgive me he has a .400 batting average against Wainwright in 20 at-bats.

Matchup to watch: Allen Craig vs. Clayton Kershaw, .500 BA, 4 for 8, 1 HR, 5 RBIs.

Prediction: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1

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